To mark the four-hundredth anniversary of the birth of Diego Rodríguez de Silva y Velázquez (1599–1660), The Frick Collection brought together for the first time six of the Spanish master’s portraits belonging to public collections in New York.
Diego Rodríguez de Silva y Velázquez
The King at War: Velázquez's Portrait of Philip IV
Painted at the height of Velázquez's career, the Frick's King Philip IV of Spain (1644) is one of the artist's consummate achievements. Contemporary chronicles as well as bills and invoices in Spanish archives indicate that it was painted in a makeshift studio only a few miles from the frontlines of a battle, and that it was completed in just three sittings. The work, which shows its subject dressed in military costume, an atypical depiction, was sent to Madrid where it was used during a victory celebration.
Susan Grace Galassi, Senior Curator at The Frick Collection, introduces the exhibition Masterpieces from the Scottish National Gallery, on view in the East Gallery through February 1, 2015.
The Portrait of Philip IV by Diego Rodríguez de Silva y Velázquez (1599-1660) returned recently from The Metropolitan Museum of Art, having been cleaned for the first time in more than sixty years. The treatment by Michael Gallagher, Sherman Fairchild Conservator in Charge of Paintings Conservation, revealed the dazzling original surface that had been veiled by a yellowing varnish.